Archive for the ‘Herbal medicine’ Category

Medicine in the Kitchen – Ginger

Monday, October 27th, 2014

Ginger 300x243 Medicine in the Kitchen   Ginger

It’s not a secret that many of the herbs used in Traditional Oriental Medicine are valued more for their medicinal properties than for their taste.

However, there are exceptions and fresh ginger root, or Sheng Jiang as it’s known in Chinese, is one of the most commonly used herbs in both TCM as well as the kitchen.

Fresh ginger is a key ingredient in many of the traditional formulas used for boosting the immune system and treating colds and flu, especially at the early stages with symptoms such as chills and body aches, nasal congestion, and coughing with mucous and phlegm.

Ginger is also beneficial for the digestive system and can be helpful for symptoms such as nausea and vomiting, whether it be from motion sickness when travelling or morning sickness during pregnancy. Because of its antibacterial action in the gastrointestinal tract, ginger can also soothe mild cases of food poisoning or other similar digestive upsets.

A simple tea can be made by grating 1 Tablespoon of fresh ginger root and gently simmering in 1 cup of hot water for no longer than about 5 minutes, otherwise the medicinal volatile oils may evaporate and reduce the overall efficacy. Several cups of the tea may be sipped throughout the day as needed.

A note of caution: because ginger root can stimulate blood circulation, it should be used with caution during pregnancy or in people who have a higher risk of bleeding such as those using blood thinner medication. When in doubt with any herbal medicine, you can always consult with your Registered Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner.

Medicine in the Kitchen – Burdock

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

Burdock 300x199 Medicine in the Kitchen   Burdock

Burdock – although sometimes regarded as a nuisance weed (the spiked burrs on the seeds can get trapped onto clothing or pet’s fur if walking through a patch of burdock plants and were the original inspiration for the invention of Velcro), it’s a valuable herb in both Western and Eastern herbal medicine.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, burdock seed is known as Niu Bang Zi and is often used in the treatment of Lung system disorders, ranging from skin problems such as rashes, eczema, and psoriasis to other inflammatory conditions such as tonsillitis and sore throat.

However, in Japan it is the root of the plant, known as Gobo, which is commonly used. Resembling an over-sized carrot and valued for its gentle cleansing detox properties, including helping to purify the blood and lymphatic system, gobo is used not only as medicine but is also eaten as a common everyday food.

Although a tea can be made from the dried root, usually the fresh format of burdock is preferred and can be found in many Asian or other well-stocked vegetable markets. Thinly sliced or grated, fresh burdock root makes a delicious and healthy addition to vegetable stir-fry or soup recipes.

A note of caution: because burdock can act as a mild uterine stimulant, it should not be used during pregnancy. When in doubt with any herbal medicine, you can always consult with your Registered Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner.

Medicine in the Kitchen – Cinnamon

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013
Cinnamon 300x166 Medicine in the Kitchen   Cinnamon

Source: http://www.aziatische-ingredienten.nl/kaneel-kassia/

Cinnamon – it’s one of the most familiar spices in our kitchens, especially this time of year as the weather turns colder. It is also one of the most commonly used herbs in Traditional Chinese Medicine.

The outer bark of cinnamon is called Rou Gui in Chinese and is the form most people are familiar with. In TCM, the inner part of the branches is also used and is known as Gui Zhi.

Although there are some clinical differences in the usage between the two forms of cinnamon, they are both used primarily for their warming effect on the body.

For example, it is one of the main ingredients of a cold and flu herbal formula commonly prescribed when the person is experiencing chills and body aches.

Cinnamon can be used to warm up the digestive system for symptoms such as pain, cramps, and coldness of the abdomen and is also an important herb when the Kidney system is weak, with symptoms including lumbar weakness and lower back pain, fatigue, and coldness of the body and extremities.

A typical dosage of cinnamon would be 1 – 2 grams. Adding a pinch to your food or beverages is a great way to warm up the body, especially after being outside exposed to cold and windy weather.

A note of caution: because cinnamon stimulates the blood circulation, it should be used with caution during pregnancy or in people who have a high risk of bleeding such as those using blood thinner medication. When in doubt with any herbal medicine, you can always consult with your Registered Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner.

Medicine in the Kitchen – Dates

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010

The Jujube Date, or Da Zao as it’s known in Chinese, is equally at home in both the kitchen and the herbal pharmacy.

The main use of Dates in Traditional Oriental Medicine is to strengthen and support the digestive system. Some of the symptoms commonly associated with weak digestion include fatigue & general weakness, poor absorption of nutrients, a reduced appetite, and a tendency towards loose bowels & diarrhea.

Adding Dates as part of one’s regular diet can help to improve digestion and increase the body’s ability to make better use of the other foods and nutrients that one eats.

Because some herbs can be difficult to digest, many of the herbal formulas used in Chinese Medicine contain Dates to assist with absorption of the medicinal ingredients while also helping to prevent any stomach upsets or other similar side effects.

When eating Dates on their own, a typical dosage would be about 3 – 10 per day. They may also be added to soups & stews.

If Chinese Dates are unavailable, other types of dates such as the Mediterranean varieties may be used instead. However, because these tend to be much sweeter than the Chinese ones, the dosage should be reduced accordingly.

Medicine in the Kitchen – Mint

Tuesday, March 10th, 2009

Many of the herbs used in Traditional Chinese Medicine are actually herbs commonly used in the kitchen for everyday cooking.

Mint, or Bo He as it’s known in Chinese, is quite useful for the treatment of a sore throat. In Eastern Medicine, sore throats are usually viewed as Heat becoming trapped in the acupuncture meridians which travel through the throat area.trans Medicine in the Kitchen   Mint

Treatment, whether through acupuncture or herbal medicine, is aimed at promoting the flow of energy in these meridians in order to release this stagnant Heat.

The pungent and cooling properties of mint, either alone or in combination with other medicinal herbs, can be helpful in relieving cases of sore throat, especially those brought on by a cold or flu.

To brew mint tea, use 1 – 2 Tablespoons of mint leaf and steep in 1 cup of hot water for about 5 minutes. Be sure not to cook it for too long, otherwise the volatile oils which contain most of the medicinal properties may evaporate. Several cups of the tea may be sipped throughout the day as needed.

So next time you are starting to feel a sore throat coming on, try mint tea to bring some relief.